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Five-Day Training Workshop at Centre for Children with special needs

Five-Day Training Workshop at Centre for Children with special needs“Five-day training workshop regarding proper care-taking of children with intellectual disabilities” was held at the Centre for Children with Intellectual Disabilities, Baneshwor, Kathmandu. It commenced on 20th June 2017 and ended on 23rd June 2017. This training workshop was organized by the  Office of Women and Children, Nepal Government and was supported by Parent Federation of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities. We aim to improve the childhood and social acceptance of children with special needs in Nepal.

Day 1:

The program commenced officially at 11:30 am. Twenty parents of various kinds of disabled children participated in the training workshop. First of all, an ice-breaking session was held.  Advocate Mukunda Hari Dahal , President, Parent Federation of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities conducted an informative session about intellectual disability. Mrs. Sharda Timalsina from the Office of Women and Children, Nepal Government elaborated about the identity cards provided to children with various kinds of disabilities. While discussing the same, it was found out that only half of the present parents knew about the identity cards.

After, the parents and guardians were asked to share some insight about their children and what they are suffering from. In this way, everyone got to know each other better. After a short tea break, Dr. Lalita Joshi, founder & executive member, Down‘s Syndrome Association of Nepal explained about Down’s Syndrome and provided all the relevant information regarding that particular disability. Later, the parents asked questions about their children and together, they discussed on the possible solutions to the common problems. The first day of the workshop thus ended at around 3 pm.

Day 2:

The second day of the workshop started at 11 am, with Mr. Mukunda Hari Dahal explaining the ways in which the children could be supported. He showed a powerpoint.

“We need to help them in every way we can, starting with basic health measures”, said Mr. Dahal.

Taking proper care of children with intellectual disabilities is not everyone’s cup of tea. Parents might see themselves failing at some point, but they should never give up. Negligence even in the smallest of tasks such as cleanliness measures and socializing, would lead to further deterioration of these children.

He spoke about the future of these children. Mr. Dahal emphasized that in order to plan out a career for the children, the parents need to study their interests and skills. Instead of pondering on what would happen when these kids are on their own, they should focus on what could be done while there is still time.

A Government Speaker joined us

The next speaker of the day was Mr. Nim Raj Bhattarai from the Nepal Government, Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare. He has worked in the sector of women, children and social welfare for a long period of time. Therefore, he knew the ins and outs of the present situation of disabled children in Nepal. He departed his knowledge on the undertakings of the Government regarding disabled children and provided transparent information to the parents.

He said that Nepal has as many laws and rights regarding the support of children with physical as well as intellectual disabilities as in the developed countries. However, unlike those countries, Nepal is taking baby steps towards implementing these laws of providing rights to the needy children. Mr. Bhattarai also added on a further note that the Government has never deprived the disabled children of their rights and support. The Government is commencing various programs regarding the welfare of these kinds of children.

Overall, the problem lies within the closest social circle of the children. In 2011, only 1.94% were classified as “disabled” (2011 census).

“Feel ashamed of having disabled children”

Mr. Bhattarai said that there are many reasons for this result, the main one being the shame of family members. Most of the parents all over Nepal and even in some other countries feel ashamed of having disabled children. They believe that they had probably committed a sin in their previous lives to bear such burden. This is how Nepalese societies react. As an outcome, the children suffer from depression and anxiety, further adding on to their health problems. As a result, medical conditions can worsen.

Parents must understand that their children’s disabilities are not their faults. None of them committed a sin in their previous lives. Physical and intellectual disabilities arise from natural causes and sometimes induced reasons as well. Bodily impairments are not disabilities. Even social barriers are one of them.

Due to this negligence and self-induced shame, most of the people haven’t collected identity cards of their disabled children. They also discussed identity cards. Some of the parents at CCID had collected the cards for their children whereas a few did not even know about them.

Words From Another NGO: Akshyar Aarambha

After Mr. Bhattarai spoke about the above-mentioned issues, Mr. Lila Nath Pande started his session. He works for an NGO called “Akshyar Aarambha”. This organization mainly focuses on involving intellectually disabled children in the same school as normal children. Mr. Pande talked about how intellectually disabled children are not able to grasp information as fast as other children can. This can pose as a matter of frustration for parents, but it’s the parents’ duty to get to know the children in a slow pace. In this way, they can know their children much better than anybody else. He also mentioned about speech therapy and mobilization of volunteers in these sectors.

Day 3:

The third day kicked off at 11 am and the parents looked really enthusiastic. Mr. Dahal talked about how personal schedule planning and how one can benefit by pre planning, working and separating time for their children. Other topics of the day were; rights of intellectually disabled children,, violation of those rights, physical and mental abuse, linguistic development, other centers for intellectually disabled children in Kathmandu, criticism about the disabled children, help and support that has been provided by national and international volunteers, duty to help such children, the role of the government regarding intellectually disabled children, and a plan to include intellectual disability awareness course in the curriculum of grade 9 and 10.

Mr. Sudhir Bhattarai held an interactive session with the parents regarding extracurricular activities they should involve their children in and also about their social development. The topic of linguistic development was also covered later on during the session, after a tiffin break.

News 24, a national TV channel conducted an interview session with the parents. The program ended at around 4:30 pm.

Day 4: Teaching how to care for children with special needs is improving!

This day of the training workshop was facilitated by Ms. Meena K.C. of Centre for Chidren with Iintellectual Disabilities (CCID) herself. She wrapped up the workshop, talking about the problems that arise while taking care of disabled children, physical and mental abuse an intellectually disabled child can suffer, required awareness about harassment situations, family problems regarding property division, and identity cards for the disabled children. She also made sure that they changed their mindset about disability being a communicable disease. Having worked in this sector for nearly seventeen years, she has learned to accept people the way they are, disabled or not. The guardians should reciprocate her attitude and behavior as well.

The participating parents and guardians were very grateful towards Ms. KC, the entire CCID staff and the government for organizing the workshop. Some of them used to be unaware about the relevant information about intellectual disability even when their own children suffered from it. Discussions were lively. This helped everyone gain knowledge about their children’s condition. They also learned how they can play a role in improving their children’s lives.

The program ended at 4:30 pm approximately.

We lost a day, but gained a world of knowledge

Unfortunately, we had to cancel the last day.

Overall, by participating in this training workshop, the parents of intellectually disabled children had the benefit of increased knowledge on proper care-taking, skills to understand their child’s problem & skills to create positive behavioural support plan. The parents also learned how to adapt to their child with a disability and problem, how to change their schedule to best fit the needs of their child with a disability, how to improve quality of life and how to teach appropriate behaviours and skills to their loved one.

We will arrange more training workshops.

To volunteer for the children with special needs in Nepal, please have a look at this webpage

or send an email to contact@volunteersocietynepal.org

Thank you!


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